Kolkata: Punjab rallied from a goal behind to beat Karnataka 2-1 and keep their semi-final hopes alive, while Goa hammered Odisha 6-1 in the group B fixtures of the 72nd Santosh Trophy here on Monday.
Coming into the match on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Mizoram, Punjab fell behind once again in the seventh minute when Rajesh S’ scored from the spot after a foul on Leon Augustine in the Karnataka box.
But Punjab bounced back attacking with more intent and levelled soon in the 18th minute. Jitender slotted home from close range after receiving a square-pass from Gurtej Singh.
Punjab then doubled the scoreline with another goal in the 26th minute. It was Baltej Singh who scored after Parmjit Singh got the ball near the edge of the box and after getting past a couple of defenders, played the ball to an unmarked Baltej for an easy tap in.
Courtesy the win, both Punjab and Karnataka are now tied on six points, opening up group B and at the same time keeping their chances of making it into the semi-finals open.
Elsewhere, Goa battered Odisha in a lop-sided contest meaning now three of the remaining (Mizoram has already qualified) four members of group B now can make it to the semis.
It was a hat-trick from captain Victorino Fernandes that sealed the favour for Goa, handing them a rather comfortable victory over Odisha. But it was a different story when the proceeding began.
Goa had taken the lead when Fernandes scored from a Mackroy Peixeto corner in the 15th minute. But Odisha bounced back with an equaliser in the very next minute through Sunil Sardar, who leaped into a Arbin Lakra cross to head home.
But just when the match seemed to enter into a riveting contest, Fernandes scored a second. There was no stopping them from there as Fernandes competed his hat-trick, while Machroy Peixito (59th minute), Jonas Perriera (71st) and Marcus Mascarenhas (85th) added to the scoreline to bring up the victory.
Meanwhile, Odisha have already been knocked out of the Santosh Trophy after failing to win a single match.